121 Homesteading Skills for the Modern Day Homesteader

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Motomom34, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    This is a fantastic list. How many of these 121 skills do you have? I am only posting the first 50 for now. If you go to the link- the site I borrowed this from the ones in blue if you click will take you to an article on how to learn the skill.
    121 Homesteading Skills for the Modern Day Homesteader

    1. Canning all your garden produce.
    Preserve fruits and vegetables from your homestead naturally so you can eat holistically all year long.

    2. How to compost.
    Don’t throw out all your recyclable odds and ends. Put them in a compost and make your garden thrive with compost tea.

    3. How to bake bread.
    Never rely again on grocery store breads with bleached flours or expensive healthy loaves. Bake your own at home!

    4. Make homemade remedies for naturally treating ailments.

    Take the time to heal yourself naturally with these home remedies!

    5. Make homemade laundry detergent.
    Make your own chemical-free detergent in either liquid or powder form.

    6. How to make playdough.
    The kiddos will love it. And if they eat it, it’s made from organic ingredients so it’s not a risk to their health.

    7. How to make cheese from scratch.
    Use your milk product to make your choice of fresh, delicious cheese.

    8. Know how to make a compost bin.
    Correctly storing your compost will save your backyard from smelling like a dumpster.

    9. Grow plants in your climate.
    Every climate has a different time period for planting various seeds. Find the best one for your homestead.

    10. Know how to save seeds for future harvests.
    Create a never-ending supply of seeds for your garden by learning how to correctly save and store seeds.

    11. Know first aid and CPR.
    Just in case there is an accident on your farm, you should always be prepared (especially if you live out in the boonies like I do).

    12. Learn how to drive a tractor and a dirt bike.
    This can greatly decrease the amount of time you spend walking back and forth from various chores on the homestead and is a great help when you need to carry heavy loads of supplies from one place to another.

    13. Know how to ride a horse.
    An alternative to the tractor and dirt bike (and much less of a gas hog) is the horse. Be sure you are conscious of weight limits for your breed if you are planning on using your horse to help carry supplies.

    14. Train animals (like dogs and horses).
    Believe me when I say this will save you loads of time in the future. If you have to stop gardening to discipline a dog that’s using his digging skills in your garden and then replant the dissembled plants, you will waste more time than it takes to properly train him.

    15. Learn how to tie various knots.
    If you have a very stubborn dog or horse that you have to keep tied up to stay out of trouble or if you just want to hang a line for your laundry you will need to know a variety of knots.

    16. Make simple booby traps.
    Keep those pesky squirrels out of your cow’s feed or simply trap them for a little extra protein.

    17. Change a tire and change oil.
    Life on the homestead means no guarantees that someone is nearby at any given time. Learn this self-reliant skill so you don’t lose a whole day of work due to a busted tire.

    18. Learn how to forage for wild herbal plants that can be used as medicine.
    Preparation for emergencies is key, but in the event of injury in a natural disaster you may have to forage for plants with healing properties. Be very cautious when using herbs you did not plant yourself and do not use them unless you’re 100% sure that you have the correct plant.

    19. Make your own fire starter.
    Many people in Ireland still make their own natural fire starters today. This saves time when needing instant warmth on those blistering cold winter days.

    20. Know how to start a fire without a match.
    No one should ever rely completely on one method or another. Learn how to start a fire in a variety of ways in case you are ever without matches.

    21. Know how to properly handle, shoot, and clean a gun.
    Predators and threats on the homestead are inevitable. Don’t let lack of gun knowledge be the reason that your family doesn’t get the protection they need.

    22. Store a gun safely and properly.
    Part of knowing how to use a gun is learning to store is safely away from children and possible attackers. You’ll sleep more soundly at night knowing it’s in a safe place.

    23. Know basic mechanic skills so you can fix your tractors and other vehicles.
    Again, you wouldn’t want to lose an entire day of work just because a switch needed flipped or a bolt needed tightening.

    24. Know how to hunt wild game.
    Make sure you have the proper licenses to hunt game and provide more protein for your family and keep your livestock’s predators at bay.

    25. Know the relevant legislation and regulations regarding hunting wild game in your area.
    It is only legal to hunt certain animals during specific seasons and the consequences for hunting game outside of it’s respective season can end in costly fines or the restriction/loss of your hunting license.

    26. Make your own meat smokehouse.
    Whether you butcher your own livestock or hunt wild game you will need a way to preserve the meat properly.

    27. Use a smokehouse to smoke and cure meat.

    Learn which techniques work best for different types of meat.

    28. Know how to milk a cow and goat.
    You may think that one is exactly like the other, but I assure you it is not. Learn the basics of milking your livestock. Every cow and goat is different and so you will have to learn to adjust your techniques accordingly, but the basics remain the same.

    29. Learn how to fish.
    Fish is packed full of rich vitamins our bodies love. Hopefully your nearest waterbed is also packed full of fish. Make sure you check any rules or legislation regarding catching different breeds of fish as they can be seasonal as well.

    30. Know how to clean and cook fish.
    It can be tricky to clean a fish because of all the tiny bones. Learn the proper way to clean and cook fish so that you can avoid any sharp bones while eating your catch.

    30. Make your own candles.
    Electricity is another luxury on a homestead, especially during storms and power outages. Making your own candle’s will save you money and keep you from early evening’s spent in the dark.

    31. Learn how to sew clothing.
    Save your husband’s favorite pair of jeans, upcycle an old dress into a beautiful blouse, or adjust your children’s hemlines so that they’re not tripping over pants that are too long.

    32. Learn how to wash clothes without using a washing machine.
    Power is not only never a guarantee, it is also costly to run this large machinery. Save money and electricity by cleaning your washables by hand.

    33. Dry laundry using a drying rack or clothesline.
    Give your clothes a breath of fresh air and dry them outdoors instead of opting for the costly electric dryer option.

    34. Learn how to bake without any power.
    Every homesteader should know a few ways to cook without any power. We’ve gone a step further and made a tutorial on how to bake without the help of electricity.

    35. Know how to humanely kill, gut and clean an animal.
    Butchering time is never a happy time on the farm, but it’s necessary to know how to humanely put your livestock down so they do not suffer. You must also know how to gut and clean them so the meat does not spoil.

    36. Know how to properly kill and pluck a chicken.
    Once chickens have stopped laying eggs and are ready to be butchered, they must also be killed and cleaned properly to ensure there is no spoilage to the meat. They require a little extra work due to the plucking process, but it is well worth it.

    37. Make and maintain your own sourdough starter.
    My mother always used a portion of others starter’s and would be reluctant to leave it for more than a couple days, worrying that it would die and she would be forced to bum more from a friend. That’s why I learned to make my own (I also like being the generous friend who shares).

    38. Learn how to make homemade cleaning supplies.
    Cut the chemicals and opt for natural ingredients in your cleaning supplies. You’ll spend a little time to save a lot of money.

    39. Know how to cut, bale, and stack hay.
    Keeping your hay organized will cut chaos out of your homestead.

    40. Know how to knit, quilt, or crochet.
    This skill will provide a relaxing hobby that the whole family can benefit from.

    41. Make your own greenhouse.
    Grow produce all year long in a homemade greenhouse.

    42. Grind your own wheat for baking.
    Never spend money on flour again! Grind your own grains and create an assortment of flours. If you have a grinder this process is infinitely easier.

    43. Prepare wheat without a grinder.
    If you don’t have a grinder or wheat mill, there is another technique I learned to prepare wheat.

    44. Set up your own chicken brooder.
    Skip the hassle of feeding your chickens by hand every day by setting up this easy chicken brooder.

    45. Make your own chicken feed.
    Find a recipe that works for your chickens. You may even be able to use things you have on hand already!

    46. Learn how to tell if your chickens are molting.
    Deciphering chicken behavior is important so that you will know when health problems arise or what to expect during certain seasons or times in a chicken’s life (like molting season).

    47. Build a geodesic dome.
    You can use this structure for extra storage, a chicken coop or as a greenhouse. Either way, these domes are useful additions for homesteads.

    48. Grow herbs.
    Herbs can be used for their medicinal properties, to flavor an otherwise bland meal, or just to look pretty in your garden. Generally they are low maintenance plants with a wealth of uses.

    49. Know how to dry herbs.
    Preserve your herbs for teas, spices, or to hang in your home as an acting air freshener.

    50. Learn how to make herbal extracts, salves, infusions, poultices and tinctures.

    121 Homesteading Skills for the Modern Day Homesteader
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2015
  2. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    Holy cow and that is only fifty. I am screwed, lol. I try out new things each week. I figure now is the time while things are still safe and there are plenty of references to learn from. Now is the time to experiment because if it fails you can always order a pizza, go inside where it is dry and warm, go to the internet and look up what you did wrong, buy more material to replace the ruined ones, etc.
    Motomom34, 3M-TA3, Yard Dart and 2 others like this.
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    You are so correct @vonslob Some of these I have tried and failed miserably. I think I almost have bread perfected. I can sew but sew my husband a pair of pants? A shirt maybe but pants have to be sturdy. I have decided if I am going to wear a label I don't strive to be a prepper or survivalist, I strive to be a homesteader.

    Also- The numbers not highlighted in blue do not have links to articles. But if you know a way or answer please share.

    Example: 45. Make your own chicken feed. I always just thought they ate table scraps or peelings I never thought to make "chicken feed".
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2014
  4. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Motomom34 likes this.
  5. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Excellent thread Motomom. The links associated with each of the listed skills are very helpful in negotiating the journey to homesteading competency.



    Edit: I found this gem on how to build a pallet workbench whilst exploring the links from Motomom's OP.


    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
    Tully Mars and Motomom34 like this.
  6. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    Thank you for the post. I went to the link and pick up some good ideas.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  7. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Great post thank you!
    Motomom34 likes this.
  8. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Interesting that I have accomplished most of those although I dont necessarily do them on a routine basis. Some of it comes from enjoying being self-reliant and some of it comes from having been around before our world was overtaken by "convenience" However, I have never prepared wheat without a grinder and I haven't plucked a chicken since the 70's. Still so much to learn and teach. My daily prayer is for time, the only thing I know I'll never be able to control
    Motomom34, Yard Dart and chelloveck like this.
  9. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I started plucking a bantam rooster once...by the time I had pared it down to the fine feathers, I discovered to my dismay that there was so little meat on the carcass that I didn't think it worthwhile gutting it. I dug a hole in the garden bed near a passion fruit vine and buried it in the hope that enough nutrients might be drawn from the dead cock to boost the vine's bounty. :(
    Motomom34, Yard Dart and RightHand like this.
  10. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    My grandmother kept Bantams and I remember them as nasty little creatures who took great pleasure in attacking me as I approached the hen house in search of eggs. They made good soup! - more correctly, they were a flavorful basis for stock
  11. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    For $50 you can have that done in San Francisco whenever you want ;) :p
    Yard Dart, chelloveck and Mountainman like this.
  12. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    I know a few of these skills, not as many as I'd like of course, that's what I'm working on though. Never caught any fish. In a SHTF scenario, there are no fishing holes nearby anyway, so that's not high on my list. Home remedies are, because without good health, you're S.O.L. in crises.
    Motomom34 and chelloveck like this.
  13. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    A flavourful but exceedingly thin stock. I think I may have gotten better value for the effort taken by getting some additional and juicy passionfruit. The story doesn't end there...as sometimes happens in the world of chelloveck.... I had to give the rooster the chop because a neighbour complained that the rooster was being too noisy and it was disturbing his beauty sleep. Dang me if once the rooster went to hades, that one of the hens decided that it was suffering from gender dysphoria, and took over where the recently deceased rooster left off. Fortunately the hen's decibel level wasn't high enough to create un-neighbourly discontent...and it kept it's neck for quite a while until one of my sons brought home a stray Staffordshire Terrier...which is another story...to do with turning chickens into chew toys. :(
    RightHand likes this.
  14. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Baking bread has been an issue for me. Either it over works and I get a giant loaf that is too full of air or I get a loaf that just doesn't have enough of a second rise. I have scouted cooking at elevation sites etc... They suggested first rise in the fridge then second rise at room temp. I just didn't get that second rise still. I just talked to a lady that has lived at this elevation for 30 plus years. She said the secret is to not let the bread rise fully the first rise, punch down and knead the dough thoroughly then do the second rise, which she swore would rise like it should. She swears that is the way to make a decent loaf of bread at 7000+. I hope to try her method this weekend and will report back.
    kellory, Yard Dart and chelloveck like this.
  15. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Although the science of bread making is well understood...the actual hand crafting of bread is definitely an art. Take notes...it may help in replicating your successes and understanding your failures. :)
    kellory and Motomom34 like this.
  16. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Just completed 1st Aid which I really liked but would like to learn more. The instructor is looking into where I should go for further first aid learning. My CPR course is next month.
    kellory likes this.
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Look into a Basic State EMT Course, if they have one in your State.... That is where AlaskaChick started, and then went on from there...
    kellory, Yard Dart and Motomom34 like this.
  18. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Her method is exactly correct-at least it was for me when I lived in Colorado. Second rise I always made sure was either in a sunny spot, or near the pellet stove during the winter.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  19. madmax

    madmax Far right. Bipolar. Veteran. Don't push me.

    37. I need more work. Got the skill sets in my tribe. Gotta get them set down and do some learning.

    GREAT thread!
    Motomom34 likes this.
  20. Airborne Monkey

    Airborne Monkey Gorilla Survivalpithecus

    Subscribed, to what might be one of the greatest threads ever ... I mean ev-er.
    Motomom34 and Yard Dart like this.
  1. Asia-Off-Grid
  2. Asia-Off-Grid
  3. chelloveck
  4. Asia-Off-Grid
  5. Country life with Sara
  6. Dont
  7. Dont
  8. Ollie Beef
  9. CATO
  10. chelloveck
  11. SlowBro
  12. survivalmonkey
  13. HerbalGirl
  14. Hispeedal2
  15. hank2222
  16. ceilingwalrus
  17. RightHand
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary